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Doublegobble wordsplurge
(Published in The Guardian Dec 29 1983)

If computers baffle you, perhaps you should try a dose of Brambleware logic, suggests Antony Anderson
    Do computers terrify you? Do you freeze when you see a seven-year old manipulating the keyboard of a micro-computer with dexterity? The Office Manager feels exactly the same way about the computers that invade his daytime habitat. 
   Such is the competition to sell computers to managers, that one, rather staid, manufacturer has thrown caution to the winds. He supplies free, with each new computer, a "Lion packaged as a Housecat", presumably housetrained, helpful around the office, a good mouser and pre-programmed to go on safari looking for choice morsels of data for its mate. Office managers who are fed up with computer-based menagerie salesmen may now take comfort in BRAMBLEWARE, a new range of user-friendly computer packages that is based on the Bramblebush operating System. Fuzzy Logic in its compiler gives Brambleware a unique ability to mix cause and effect : making it a must for the non-expert systems manager. He will be safe with the new system, because it leaves him free to carry on much as he did before, only more so. 
   The Random Tangling Fudgeware - RTF - provides interlaced crosstalk between timesharing programs on the same machine, as well as a sophisticated spreadsheeting facility that allows the user to spread facts as thinly as he likes. These features give a high level of user security and turn the audit trail into a masterpiece of creative accountancy. When the BLUR command is pressed, selected numbers, rows or columns can be de-focussed. 
   The SMUDGE subroutine allows digitally-encoded blotches to be placed upon the screen; these are then moved into position with the SQUIRREL cursor. The command NUTS terminates the subroutine by deposing the blotches on the screen and burying the smudged data under COMPOST, designated by a pile of simulated leaves in the bottom left hand corner. 
     Brambleware supports a comprehensive word processing package - WORDSPLURGE - which has a merge facility not found in most computer systems. This allows for two contradictory statements of Official Policy to be merged into a new document which bears no relation to either of its parents. SHAMBLES then fine-tunes the output to ensure the maximum strategic de-correlation with the financial control function. GOBBLE BOXFILE tips the unsorted contents of a box file into the computer memory, where it is held in its original undefined format. Once in memory, the instruction DOUBLEGOBBLE BOXFILE allows the contents of one file to be fused with any other file. 
   Perhaps the most useful application package is DUM DEC, which provides a transparent interface with existing staff. DUM SEC is an advanced paperless office management system that emulates liveware. It mis-collates reports, double records onto floppy discs and comes equipped with a largely random access memory. When in the mood - and it does have moods - it spreads rumours over the data highway, misappropriates the tea club money and crashes the mainframe computer on payday. WAIT puts all incoming telephone calls through a random queueing sequence using a Monte Carlo switching algorithm. EXCUSE generates twenty five plausible reasons for delaying a meeting. 
   SHADOW gives cover for unauthorised absence by simulating a managerial presence. This can be activated at a distance, using a portable acoustic coupler and a GPO landline. 
   Brambleware offers a degree of dis- integration that gives most Offices of the Future that Stone Age Look. Cast lovely Lisa the housemouse from your affections : she'll make a good breakfast for the Housecat. Forget Apples, Apricots, Acorns and Peanuts: come Brambling instead! You will never regret it! Take steps now to preserve the ecology of your office before it is too late. 

©  Antony Anderson 1983 and 2000

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